The Green Party-Citizens Cooperation launched an election-campaign attack on the government on Tuesday slamming a series of “bad policies” over the past five years.
Speaking at a news conference titled The Environment in Crisis – Politics – Economy – Prospects, Greens leader Giorgos Perdikis said it was generally accepted that periods of economic recession were conducive to profound changes and profound reforms.
“Over the past six crucial years, we expected that this country would really be trying to get rid of the traditional development model – which is largely responsible for this disaster and to take steps forward on the path of sustainability,” he said.
“We have the strong view that, with the primary responsibility falling on the outgoing government that this opportunity has been lost,” he added. “The outgoing government did not seize the opportunity.”
Referring to the near-destruction of the Vassiliko power plant in 2011 due to the explosion at the nearby Mari naval base, Perdikis said it was rebuilt “just as it was before and in the past five years there has been no substantial investment in renewable electricity,” he said.
Perdikis said the net-metering programme launched by the previous government had not been extended, while the Renewable Energy Fund had gone bankrupt after the government refused to adopt the proposals of the ecological movement.
He also said that in the field of sustainable transport, “we have seen in the days of this government that the public transport system has collapsed, since few infrastructure projects have been implemented in the last seven years”. He added that legislation on cycling was not promoted even though it had been prepared for years, biofuels were not developed, the use of natural gas and biogas was not introduced, and with much pressure from parliament and after many years of delays, “the first timid and dubious steps were taken for LPG fuel”.
In addition, he said the scheme to withdraw old cars and the incentives to buy new eco-friendly vehicles was abolished by the government. “Regarding forests and Natura sites we have had the greatest forest fires since 1974 over the last five years,” he added.
“Experts’ reports investigating the causes of the fires have highlighted all the shortcomings and gaps that have been created in recent years in formerly vigorous forest service, technical equipment and personnel,” he added.
He said ecologists had issued plenty of warnings on the issues of importance for the environment that were not heeded.
“Unfortunately the government ignored us,” he concluded.